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Prince Albert
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Home Arts Council to consider public art request at Monday meeting

Council to consider public art request at Monday meeting

Council to consider public art request at Monday meeting
Prince Albert City Hall -- Herald File Photo.

Bailey Sutherland

Special to the Herald

Council will get a chance to look at a Public Art Working Group proposal to construct a public art piece in honour of The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation this September.

The sculpture, created by Mary Longman, will be located in Scarrow Plaza, in close proximity to the “Sisters in Spirit” monument with hopes the area can become a place of reflection and future events. The art piece, named “Passage Home”, responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Call for Action to establish a strategy for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to produce and collaborate on works that contribute to the reconciliation process.

“[It is a] memorial and commemoration to Indigenous children, who died away from home and those who are still finding their way back. The work commemorates survivors who are still grieving and healing today,” says Longman.

The City of Prince Albert Public Art Working Group created a long term plan for public art in 2016 to have a balance of individual and group projects, commission large pieces of public art for long-term fit in the community, and to maintain the City’s existing public art. The group oversees and advises on the Public Art Policy and projects to the Community Services Advisory Committee and City Council.

This plan included saving a portion of the annual budget for the commission of a major public artwork created by artist Mary Longman. The project will cost a total of $221,437, with $123,000 coming from the City of Prince Albert’s Public Art Reserve and the other 45% to be covered by a grant from the Short-Term Projects component of the Creating, Knowing and Sharing: the Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples Program.

Mary Longman, a Saulteaux band member from Gordon First Nation, has been exhibiting in prestigious galleries nationally and internationally for the past thirty years and has won several awards for her work. She is currently an Associate Professor in Art & Art History at the University of Saskatchewan and is the president of the Indigenous Art Academy.

The installation is set to be one of the first in Canada dedicated to Indigenous children of day schools, residential schools, and the Sixties Scoop, with hopes that other communities will follow their lead.

The public art commission is one of two reports up for debate at Monday’s meeting. Council will also review a six item consent agenda, and hear from a delegation concerning property tax assessment on Guy Drive.
Monday’s meeting begins at 4 p.m. at City Hall.

Editor’s Note: a previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Longman sought council’s approval. She was approached by the Public Art Working Group. The Daily Herald apologizes for the error.